My Christmas Wishlist

I know Christmas is still months away, but I thought I’d start early this year. I always have a hard time, thinking about all of the things that I’d love to receive as gifts come Christmastime, so I’m compiling my wishlist months in advance 🙂

Beyond the Face – Characters of Climbing

Beyond the Face

I can’t remember the last time I bought a hard copy of a book. To be honest, I much prefer the convenience of ebooks, but in this case, I will make an exception.

I’ve been following competition climbing for the past few months now, and a handful of my favorite athletes are featured on this book, so it would be so incredibly great to have this in my collection.

Chalk BagChalk Bag and Chalk

This particular item is not actually that high up on my list. It’s something that would be nice to have, but not completely necessary. I’m lucky in terms of the fact that my hands don’t get too sweaty while climbing, so I could go without chalk for the most part.

Hangboard

HangboardMy climbing gym recently put up a few of these in their training area. It’s really good for building finger and upper body strength. I’d love to have one at home for those days when I’m not climbing.

Hard Case for MacBook Pro

Last, but certainly not the least, I want a hard case for my MacBook Pro – the only non-climbing related item on my wishlist lol. I’ve already gone through two hard shell cases. My first case actually lasted a pretty long time. It just started cracking after I accidentally dropped my laptop 😞The one that I’m using right now is already falling apart just after a few months of getting it. And I didn’t even drop the darned thing…😡Time for a replacement!

Person of Interest

Action, Drama, Sci-FiPerson of Interest

When I first started watching this show, I didn’t immediately get hooked on it. It actually took me a long while to really get into the story. I wasn’t even sure if it was going to make it to my September TV Show Picks, but I’m really glad that I didn’t give up on right away, because it’s an absolutely incredible show. After watching the season 4 finale, I decided to not only include it in this month’s TV picks, but to also write a separate blog post about it. It’s that amazing! I would say that it’s probably one of the best shows that I’ve ever seen, and I watch a lot of TV!

Person of Interest is a show about a reclusive programmer billionaire (Harold Finch) who tries to save the lives of thousands of people with the help of an ex assassin (John Reese) and a surveillance AI (a.k.a. the Machine). The AI sends them the social security numbers of people involved in impending crimes, but it leaves all other details of the crimes unexplained.

I’m going to try to not give away too much about the storyline, but I will say that the best part of the show for me are the flashbacks to when Harold first creates/tests the Machine. We get to see just how dangerous the earliest versions of the AI was, especially if left to its own devices. Throughout the four seasons of the show that has aired, we see how the Machine is taught to care for people, to value life. It not only developed a personality, but also emotions just like a human being. We got to really see that in the season four finale. I actually ended up crying! That whole scene with the Pink Floyd song in the background was absolute perfection. The writers did such an amazing job of bringing the Machine to life. It’s probably my #1 favorite character on the show, which is saying a lot because there are a lot of incredible characters on POI.

Person of Interest the Machine

I won’t list all of them out, because that would give too much of the story away. I will single out one particular character though… If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know how much of a crazy dog person I am 😀 So it’s pretty much a given that I’m going to like Bear, the badass military dog who chews on rare first edition books by day and fights crime by night. Who could resist that face?!

Person of Interest Bear

I cannot wait for season 5 to come out! I’ll be counting the days until then.

TV Show Picks of the Month: August 2015

It’s that time of the month again…I’m actually embarrassed by how much TV I watched this August :S I clearly need to do more with my life lol.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list of my favorite shows from August.

Once Upon A Time
Adventure, Fantasy

Once Upon a Time

I know I’m really late on the OUAT craze, but it wasn’t until this month that I decided to give the show a try. It was surprisingly interesting. I like how the evil characters were given back stories that make them a bit more relatable in some way. A lot of them have redeeming qualities that make you sympathize with them despite all the bad things they’ve done, and continue to do. I particularly like Rumpelstiltskin. The actor who plays him is incredibly good at what he does. I don’t think there’d be a show without him.

I do have a couple of complaints about the show though. I feel like a lot of the spells are sometimes too convenient. There’s really no rhyme or reason to how magic works on the show. I’m not too impressed with the computer graphics on the show either. A lot of the effects that they use look really fake, but the story is still pretty entertaining, so it’s a small price to pay.

Castle
Crime, Drama, Comedy

Castle

I really was not expecting to like this one, simply because crime shows are way too overdone in my opinion. I’ve seen my fair share of police shows years ago. I used to watch Law & Order, and all of the CSIs. I thought Castle was just another cop show.

I’m really glad I gave it a try though. It’s actually a really funny show, but it does have its moments. There are some really interesting episodes, and some not so interesting ones.

Homeland
Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Homeland

I binge-watched all four seasons of this show in just a matter of days. It’s incredibly interesting. It keeps you on your toes, trying to figure out whether or not a particular character has a hidden agenda. But I do have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Homeland. A few characters have sucked me in to the point where it was really hard to watch what’s happening in the show. Peter Quinn, for example, the Orlando Bloom lookalike, is a particular favorite of mine. Carrie (Claire Danes), on the other hand, is one of the worst protagonists that I have ever encountered. She’s brilliant, but she’s also incredibly unprofessional, and mentally unstable. It’s quite difficult to believe that she’s a CIA agent given all the things that she’s done on the show. Even so, it is something that I’m willing to look past, simply because it is a really amazing show. I like how not everything is portrayed as black and white. There’s a lot of blurred lines between good and bad. I think that’s what makes it so great. Otherwise, it would just be complete propaganda.

Sirens
Comedy

Sirens

If you’re interested in giving this show a try, watch past the first episode, because it gets so much better after that. It’s absolutely hilarious. So far, there hasn’t been a show with Michael Mosley that I did not like. He’s such a charming likeable character on Sirens – a far cry from his serial killer role in Castle. It just goes to show just how good of an actor he is. I also liked him in Scrubs. He’s probably the only good thing from that last season.

My only complaint about Sirens is the fact that it got cancelled after just two seasons 😦

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

It’s taken me a while to get around to posting this – mostly because I had such a hard time thinking about all of the questions that I wanted to ask. BUT here it is…finally! Anyway, I’d like to thank Amber from Wild Heart Reviews for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Many thanks Amber! 😀 Stop by her blog if you haven’t already. She mostly posts books reviews. I personally love her Random Thursdays series, so check her out!

Rules:

– Thank the person/people who nominated you
– Answer the questions from your nominators.
– Nominate eleven other bloggers and give them eleven questions.

Questions:

1. What is your favorite time of year? (This can be season or holiday.)

Hands down, Christmas! There’s nothing quite like spending quality time with the family, walking around the city that’s all decked out in christmas lights, and christmas decorations. Even the hustle and bustle of shoppers at malls during that season gets me really excited and happy.

2.  What is your favorite quote?

I’m not really a big quotes person, so I absolutely have no idea how to answer this question…The only thing that’s popping into my head right now is: “Stick them with the pointy end” lol. Comment below if you got that reference 😀

3. If you could rename yourself, what would you change your name to?

If I could change my name, I’d want a more unique one. Maybe a unisex name or even a straight-up boy’s name.

4. What are the three most used applications on your phone?

Just Get 10
SimCity Build It
Megapolis

5. What are three random facts about yourself?

I don’t know how to ride a bike. I’ve tried to learn multiple times as an adult, but I’ve never quite gotten it.

When I was about 5 years old, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I’d tell them that I wanted to be either a salesperson or a hair stylist lol. Clearly, I was an ambitious little kid 😛

I’m a crazy dog person. I’d want to pet every single dog I come across.

6. What is your astrological sign?

I’m a libra.

7. In reference to question #6, do you think astro signs predict anything about a persons personality?

I don’t believe in astrology, but I do sometimes read the horoscope section just for fun.

8. Do you have a favorite genre of music?

It’s so hard to pick just one! I like various kinds of music depending on the mood I’m in. Sometimes I like to listen to indie rock/indie pop, sometimes it’s rock, and other times I like to blast metal. It really varies, but for the most part, I stick with those genres.

9. What do you like about blogging?

My favorite part about blogging is connecting with other bloggers, commenting on their blog posts, getting engaged into conversations, etc.

10. Tea or Coffee?

Hands down, tea. I have a newfound appreciation for green tea. Coffee has too much caffeine. It gives me palpitations when I drink it. I also feel a bit guilty when I drink coffee, because I can’t drink it black. I usually have to add 3 teaspoons of sugar and quite a bit of milk/cream to make it drinkable. Tea, on the other hand, I can drink on its own.

11. If you were going on a long trip, to an unknown destination, and you could only take -one- thing with you, what would it be?

Boring, practical answer: smartphone. Otherwise, I’d bring a tweezer. Gotta tame that unibrow somehow 😛

My Questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. I’m going to copy Amber’s question here and ask…what are three random facts about yourself?
  3. What are your top three favorite TV shows? (can also be movies if you don’t watch TV)
  4. What is your biggest food weakness?
  5. Pet peeves?
  6. Are you a dog or a cat person?
  7. If you could travel to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? And what would you do?
  8. Hobbies besides blogging?
  9. What do you like most about yourself?
  10. If you could pick one thing that you could be good at, what would it be?
  11. What do you do to decompress?

Who am I nominating?

Nena (YOUnfolded)
Shivalika (Whimsy Journals)

Back on the wall!

After an incredibly long 3-month hiatus from climbing, I finally feel well enough to get back on the wall, and climb my little heart out 🙂 As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve recently started weight training again. My elbow seems to be supporting my weight pretty well given the circumstances.

So this past Friday, I went bouldering for the first time in 3 months, and I can’t tell you how great it feels to be climbing again. It’s not without its challenges though. After months of not being able to exercise my upper body, I’ve lost quite a bit of strength, and also confidence in my ability to climb. I was struggling quite a bit on the wall. Sadly, I couldn’t even finish a lot of the problems that I climbed. For a lot of them, I’d get pretty close to topping, but then fear would eat at me, making me not want to make the next move in the sequence. I do think that it’s something that I’d be able to work on as I get back into climbing regularly again.

Grip strength is another thing that I really need to work on. Mine isn’t as strong as it was before my little climbing accident. I also need to start building callouses on my palms again, as weird as that sounds lol. Callouses are actually really good for climbing. They toughen up your skin, which makes climbing easier. It’s a good thing my climbing gym put in this new training area for their members. I had a lot of fun playing around with the hangboards, and the cannon ball holds. They were actually easier to pull up on than expected. I’d love to have a set-up like this at home, but it’ll probably cost several hundred dollars to put together. Maybe in a few years…A girl can only dream 🙂

Hub Training Area

Fitness Update: Getting back into strength training

It’s been about two and a half months since my little climbing accident, and I’ve only just started getting back into strength training. I’ve been doing a lot of wide grip push-ups this past week. I tend to favor those, because they’re a lot easier than the other types of push-ups (e.g., military, diamond, etc.). I’m still a bit wary of hurting my elbow, so I want to take a bit slow, and just see how far I can push myself.

After two months of not being able to work out my upper body, I can see just how much progress I’ve lost, and to tell you the truth, it’s really discouraging. My body looks pretty much the same as it did before the accident, which is a good thing. I haven’t lost too much muscle mass from the looks of things, BUT there’s a huge difference in my upper body strength.

Just the other day, I did about a total of 30 push-ups, and I ended up so incredibly sore for the next two days. Whereas before, I could probably do 3 sets of 30 pretty easily.

I whipped out my pull-up bar today as well. I wanted to see if I could manage even just a single pull-up…I am so very disappointed to say that I couldn’t do it. I did manage to do two chin-ups though, but that was it 😦

Prior to my accident, I was able to do about five strict wide-grip pull-ups, and now, I can’t even pull myself up for just one! I guess this means I have a lot of work to do if I want to get back to where I was before I injured my arm.

I’m so tempted to put running off now that I can get back into strength training. If you’ve read one of my previous blog posts, you’d know that I only took up running because I couldn’t lift weights after my climbing accident. I know that I really should keep it up though. I’ve been making good progress with running, but if I’m being completely honest, cardio was never my favorite…and it still isn’t. I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes. I’m already thinking about all the excuses I can use to justify not going for a run today lol.

How I work on my flexibility

The other day, I read a blog post about yoga from a blogger who just started getting into it, and it got me thinking about my own experiences with flexibility training.

As a child, I was pretty bendy. I was able to do the splits fairly easily, BUT as I grew older and lazier, I started spending more time sitting in front the TV, and less time being physically active. It got the point where I couldn’t even touch my toes.

This is where yoga comes in…

Yoga


I was first introduced to yoga back in 2013, and it was an absolutely terrible experience. Back then, I was trying to follow the P90x workouts, which didn’t really end up working well for me, given how extremely difficult the program was. The P90x yoga video was about 92 minutes long! It was honestly pure torture getting through that entire routine. At the time, I couldn’t understand why so many people were going crazy over it.

It wasn’t until last year that I decided to give yoga another try. At the time, I had just started the P90x3 program. Not to be confused with the P90x videos, the P90x3 workout program is the 3rd instalment of the franchise, which is actually a lot easier than its predecessor. All of the workouts in P90x3 are only 30 minutes long, which made it a lot more convenient, and easier to complete.

That’s really when I started to appreciate yoga more. The 30 minute yoga video from P90x3 was more suited to my level of flexibility and strength. They run through the poses fairly quickly, which means your legs won’t be buckling from the stress of holding the poses for too long.

I guess the real moral of the story here is to not give up so easily, especially with new experiences. I have since learned that there are so many different types of yoga that you really should try several of them before you give up, and say that it’s just not for you.

A few months into the P90x3 program, I was finally able to touch my toes in a forward bend. Then, a few more months after that, I was able to rest my whole palm on the ground, slowly getting more flexible as time went on.

Around that time, I also started bouldering, which actually requires quite a bit of flexibility as you climb harder problems. That was when I decided to push my flexibility even further.

I’ve always wanted to be able to do splits again, so I looked up instructional videos on youtube, and I found this really great one ↓

After about two weeks of following the video, I was able to finally stick my splits! I still like to do this particular stretching routine once or twice a week just to make sure that I don’t lose my newfound flexibility 🙂 I highly recommend it to everyone!